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Hair Growth Cycle: The Four Stages Explained

Posted by David Beckman on
Hair Growth Cycle: The Four Stages Explained

There are many myths about how to grow your hair. Some swear by regular haircuts, while others prefer to let hair grow naturally. No matter what the individual hair care tips and tricks, there is one thing we can all agree on: how hair grows.

Knowing how your hair grows will help you achieve fuller, thicker, and healthier hair.

The hair follicle is what anchors hair to the scalp. It is composed of the bulb and papilla, which are both located below the scalp. The bulb is located at the base of each strand and contains the active cells that grow hair around the papilla. Healthy hair growth is encouraged by the papilla, which provides blood supply to the hairfollicle. The visible hair shaft is the part of the hair that extends from the follicle. It is composed of Keratin, a hard protein, and a protective layer called a cuticle. The four hair growth stages:

THE ANAGEN PHASE

The Anagen phase represents the growth period. The hair bulb’s cells divide quickly, resulting in new hair growth. The hair grows actively from the roots for between 2-7 years before it becomes dormant. During this period, hair can grow between 18 and 30 inches. This phase’s length is determined by your maximum hair length. Individuals can vary due to their genetics, health, and many other factors.

THE CATAGEN PHASE

Catagen is the second phase of hair growth. Catagen is a short period that lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. This transitional phase is when hair stops growing and severs from the blood supply. It is called a club-hair.

THE TELOGEN PHASE

The Telogen phase is the final stage in hair growth. The phase starts with a period of rest, during which club hairs are allowed to rest at the root and new hair grows beneath them. This phase lasts approximately 3 months.

The resting club hairs will eventually fall out, allowing the new hair to grow through the hair follicle. This is normal and not something to worry about. Every follicle has its own growth cycle and you won’t lose hair in one day. Instead, you will shed 50 to 100 hairs every day. The Anagen phase is where the remaining 80-90% of your hair is, and it will continue to grow long and strong.

THE EXOGEN PHASE

The exogen phase is basically an extension of or a portion of the telogen stage in hair growth. The exogen phase is when hair is shed from the scalp. This can often be helped by brushing and washing. The exogen phase can see you losing 50-100 hairs each day.

The exogen phase lasts approximately 2 to 5 month and is when new hairs grow in the follicles while old hairs go.

NATURAL HAIR GROWTH

Hair must stay in the Anagen phase as long as possible for optimal hair growth. You can support this by eating a healthy diet, living a healthy lifestyle, and using products that take care of your hair. This will help to prevent hair loss.

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